New Kids on the Block
Diners are welcoming these newcomers to Raleigh’s food scene
By Carla Turchetti
Banner photo by Davies Photography
218 S. Blount Street, Raleigh
Brewery Bhavana is a restaurant, craft brewery, flower shop, and book shop all in one. It’s a complete redo of the former Tir Na Nog spot at Moore Square Park and has a bright and airy new look. Brewery Bhavana is brought to you by brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, who own the Bida Manda restaurant next door, and head brewer, Patrick Woodson, who brews the craft beer a few blocks away on Bloodworth Street. The dim sum is inspired by the Chinese food influences that were present in Laos while the owners were growing up there. The addition of the flower shop and the book shop transform Brewery Bhavana from a place to grab a drink and a snack into a place to gift yourself or someone else. Diner Tip: The soup dumplings and the steamed pork buns are dim sum favorites.
Crawford and Son
618 N. Person Street, Raleigh
After years of success as executive chef at Herons and a short spin at Standard Foods, four-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast, Scott Crawford, has his own spot now in historic Oakwood where Piebird used to be. Crawford and Son is a place he envisions as a neighborhood fixture serving both familiar and unexpected food combinations, all sourced from the freshest ingredients. Crawford’s preference is to keep the menu small, but constantly changing and evolving. Diner Tip: While it may be difficult to decide between ordering the yellowtail crudo or the boneless pork ribs, most everyone agrees that you absolutely cannot ignore the homemade malted wheat rolls, no matter what else you order off the menu.
101 Park at North Hills Street, 7th Floor
Level 7 at the AC Hotel in Raleigh is moving North Hills’ food and beverage scene to new heights. The AC is a Marriott property with European inspiration. Guests at Level 7 can enjoy wines from California and Spain, local craft beers, and handmade cocktails alongside tapas-style bites that feature ingredients like salmon, prosciutto, and chicken. The sleek and contemporary décor spans an inside area as well as rooftop lounging space with a bird’s-eye view of North Hills. Diner Tip: The Sir Walter Raleigh is a handmade cocktail featuring Defiant Whisky, a single malt from rural Rutherford County. The distillery owner’s first business was Defiant Marine, an underwater salvage diving company, and he turned his whisky hobby into a business to make use of a storage facility he built, but didn’t need.
500 Glenwood Avenue #100, Raleigh
Vidrio is the Spanish word for glass, and the new Vidrio restaurant in Raleigh’s Glenwood South features plenty of it in its dramatic new sparkling space. Glass rods hang suspended from the ceiling, and windows open up the space inside and out onto the street. The dramatic décor in the dining room is the prelude for a meal of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, served family style with a dining philosophy of gathering together and slowly savering the meal. Vidrio is a new offering from LM Restaurants, led by president and owner Lou Moshakos, of the Carolina Ale House chain. Going along with the glass theme, Vidrio has 50 wines on tap served by the glass, and 200 more available by the bottle. Diner Tip: Try the Moroccan beef skewers; they will melt in your mouth.
Pizza la Stella
219 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh
Pizza la Stella is serving up Neapolitan-style pizza on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. It has taken over the location that formerly housed The Mint, and then Bolt Bistro. In order to create authentic Italian pizza, the owners are importing San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella cheese from Italy, and even brought in special ovens from Naples. Those ovens heat up to 900 degrees and can fire a pizza in a minute and a half. And everything else on the menu, except the salads, goes into those ovens as well. Think crispy chicken wings, meatballs, and even brussels sprouts. Diner Tip: After dinner head upstairs to The Loft, a rustic retreat on the second floor, that is a great spot for cocktails and conversation.
Oak &Dagger Public House
18 Seaboard Avenue, #150, Raleigh
Oak & Dagger is a brewery modeled on the classic idea of a public house being the social center of the community. The craft beer is more than just a beverage here – it is also an ingredient in dishes like the beer-braised pulled duck sandwich and the beer-battered asparagus. The burgers are a highlight of the menu, and the Breakfast Burger even has a fried egg on top. This is the spot at Seaboard Station that used to be Tyler’s, and the patio remains open with happy hour specials and live music. Diner Tip: The Wisconsin cheese curds with marinara are said to be addictive.